22 February, Tuesday — Who sits on your throne? 

22 Feb – Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the Apostle

The feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Rome, Italy has been celebrated from the early days of the Christian era on Jan 18, in commemoration of the day when St. Peter held his first service in Rome. The feast of the Chair of St. Peter at Antioch commemorating his foundation of the See of Antioch, has also been long celebrated at Rome on Feb 22. At each place, a chair (cathedra) which the Apostle had used while presiding at Mass was venerated.

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This feast has been kept in Rome since the fourth century, as a symbol of the unity of the Church.

– The Weekday Missal

1 Pet 5:1-4
Mt 16:13-19

“Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.”  

The original ‘Big Lie’ (now accredited to a certain infamous, psychopathic former President) originated much, much earlier in history. It went all the way back to the Garden of Eden and was promulgated by Satan himself. It was when Satan lied to Adam and Eve that eating from the Tree of Knowledge would accord them wisdom and knowledge, which would equate them to God himself. Satan used the most fundamental flaw of humanity as the Achilles heel to tempt man – his pride and vanity.  And he managed to pull it off. And Adam and Eve fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Today, the Church celebrates the Chair of St Peter. No, folks, we are not celebrating furniture. We are celebrating, recognizing and re-affirming something much more fundamental – the source and truth of divine authority given by Jesus to man on earth. The authority of Peter and his successors in carrying the spiritual bloodline of Jesus. Why is this important,? Because this has been, and continues to be, attacked and bastardized by Satan and his minions who continues to spread lies, cause divisions, promulgate confusion and ultimately, undermine truth. In today’s world, Google estimates that there are 45,000 denominations of Christians (and this does not include those that claim they are non-denominational – whatever that means!). I can see the devil grinning at his handiwork in this area. He has a lot to be proud of. He did a great job dividing Christians. There is an old adage – the first victim of war is truth. Make no mistake folks, the battle for our eternal soul is no child’s play – it is full-on and full-blown war. And Satan takes no prisoners – he wants our souls. As much as God does.

When I looked up Wikipedia about St Peter’s chair, I was quite bemused when it highlighted how the relic of St Peter’s wooden throne (made of oak) encased in St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, was “damaged by cuts and worms”. Over these millennia since St Peter first sat on that ‘throne’, indeed there have been many ‘cuts and worms’ that have attempted to damage the authority of the Papacy — which St Peter’s Chair represents. It is also apt that the images of cuts and worms were used – the first, perhaps depicting damage caused by an external source and the latter, as decay from within.

It was St Peter that was first to see and declare the truth that Jesus was the Son of the Living God. It was upon this revelation that Jesus, in turn, declared two fundamental tenets of our faith – (a) that it was God the Father that revealed this to Peter and (b) that Peter was to be the rock upon which the Catholic Church and upon which all divine authority is to be imbued. And nothing and no one, not even the devil himself, would ever be able to challenge this authority. For all eternity.

Pope John XXIII reinstituted this feast day into the Liturgical calendar in 1962. On this feast day, the universal Church acknowledges that St. Peter was the first pope and that his mission continues through the Holy Father today. Simply stated, that mission is to care for the people of God; to carry on the customs, rituals, teachings and truths of Jesus; and to uphold the unity of His Church. Moreover, the Church proclaims that the authority given to St. Peter by our Lord has been handed down to Peter’s successors for the past 2,000 years. And Pope John XXIII did so as a direct rejection of the error and fallacy of the Protestant challenge to this authority of the Roman church. And the many heresies and fallacies that are espoused by wayward ‘shepherds’ and those who do not bat an eyelid to use religion, and the name of Christ, to serve their own purposes.

So today, as the true church, the holy, Catholic and apostolic church celebrates this great feast, I ask this question – which side of truth do you want to stand on? Who sits on YOUR throne? A true apostle of Jesus? Or someone else?

(Today’s OXYGEN by Justus Teo) 

Prayer:  Father, help us. Save your people from false shepherds – wolves in sheep’s clothing who are out to lead your flock away from you and to eternal damnation. Save us from those who use your name to lead others away from the truth and use falsehoods to manipulate consciences away from your holy will.

Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for the gift of Pope Francis and of the Papacy of the Catholic Church. And for giving us the ability to know that whilst humanity is fallible, your holy Catholic Church is not.

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